9:26am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Taylor Sheridan Prison Drama Gets Paramount Network Green Light
Paramount Network is doubling down on Taylor Sheridan.
The ViacomCBS-owned basic cable network has handed out a straight-to-series order for scripted drama Mayor of Kingstown from the creator of its top drama Yellowstone.
Set in a small Michigan town where federal, state and private prisons are the only industry remaining, the story follows the McClusky family, the power brokers between the police, criminals, inmates, prison guards and politicians, in a city completely dependent on prisons and the prisoners they contain. It is a stark and brutal look at the business of incarceration.
Sheridan and Hugh Dillon (Yellowstone) co-created the series and will exec produce alongside David Glasser and 101 Studios.
Additionally, Paramount Network used its time before press at Tuesday's portion of the Television Critics Association's winter press tour to note that it has also picked up docuseries The Last Cowboy, also from Sheridan and 101 Studios, for a second season.
The decision to hand Oscar-winner Sheridan a second scripted series arrives as Yellowstone ranks as a hit for the former Spike TV. The drama was the No. 1 series last summer on cable TV among total viewers and the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo (and 25-54 demo). It's the cable network's most-watched and Viacom's most-watched scripted series since 2010.
Sheridan, it's worth noting, was brought to Paramount Network by former exec Kevin Kay, who oversaw the rebranding of Spike TV and was briefly in talks for an overall deal with the Sicario screenwriter.
Yellowstone, the Kevin Costner-led drama whose third season arrives in 2020, is part of a growing scripted slate at ViacomCBS' general entertainment network that also includes the upcoming 68 Whiskey, Emily in Paris, Josh Hartnett's Paradise Lost and Michael Chiklis vehicle Coyote. A premiere date for Mayor of Kingstown has not yet been determined.